Ross County goalkeeper Scott Fox is gearing up for what he believes is a season-defining month for the Staggies.
County returned to second in the Championship table following their 2-1 victory over Dunfermline last weekend, leaving them two points adrift of leaders Ayr United.
The Honest Men are away to on-form Dundee United tomorrow night, with a victory for the Tannadice side giving the Staggies the opportunity to return to the summit with a win at Alloa Athletic on Saturday.
The trip to Recreation Park is the first of five December fixtures for the Dingwall men, and Fox feels his side have set themselves high standards from their start to the campaign.
Fox said: “As a player, you always see Christmas time as a time to really stamp your mark.
“We know teams around about us will be playing each other as well, so if we take care of ourselves in the run of fixtures we have, I don’t see why we can’t open a gap.
“We just have to look after our own matches and let everyone else get on with their own business.
“We knew last Saturday was a big game we needed to win. Thankfully, we did so.
“We weren’t really happy with our performance, but it just shows there is more to come from us.
“Obviously, we weren’t happy after three games without a win recently, but we only got beaten once. In hindsight, it just shows how what a high standard we’ve set for ourselves.”
County required a last-minute winner from Marcus Fraser to defeat Alloa 1-0 at Victoria Park in their opening league match in August, and former Partick Thistle goalkeeper Fox hopes his side can break the Wasps down earlier.
The 31-year-old added: “With Alloa, we know what we’re going to get. They’re well-organised and they play good football under Jim Goodwin as well.
“In this league, we’ve had to be patient in a few games given the way teams are setting themselves up and viewing us as the scalp in the league.
“We need to be prepared to be patient and grind opponents down at times. If we score early, we know they have to change their gameplan.
“Down at Alloa, we’ll see where we are in the first 10 or 15 minutes and if we start as well as we had been in the previous month, hopefully we can get a few early goals and see what they can do.”
Fox is not fazed by the artificial pitch he will play on when County travel to Clackmannanshire, adding: “They hurt and they burn. Growing up with them, I know what they’re like. I prefer to play on grass any day, but it is just part of the game now.
“Some are better than others, but you can’t really complain. You just need to deal with it.”